I have an older home with stone foundation and some type of crumbling lath covering it. After doing some rearranging in my basement I cleared a wall which I'm going to put shelves against. Before doing so, I had to remove a large pile of debris from the crumbling wall. Is there a way to repair this to prevent future debris from accumulating? I'm sure a skim coat of something would be the answer. I'm just not sure what to use. Morter? structolite?

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    Old brick foundation walls, 125 years, need repointing and/or plaster finish. What is best method and materials to resurface these old bricks?. Read the comments; it depends on if your mortar has lime in it (which it probably does). If that's the case, you want M1 mortar.
    – Mazura
    May 26, 2019 at 3:36
  • The joints themself look good. At least what is exposed. It appears to be more of a problem with the coating. Is plaster all that is needed then? Any modifications?
    – mreff555
    May 26, 2019 at 11:44
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    To give a answer .Pics would help a lot. Are you talking walls, or a patch job on stone work coming off.
    – user101687
    Jun 25, 2019 at 20:20
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    @RobertMoody it looks like at some point they just started slathering mortar directly over the field stone until it was smooth. FYI, I see this a lot in the Philadelphia area.
    – mreff555
    Jun 29, 2019 at 15:49

1 Answer 1


Is there a way to repair this...

It's a lath and plaster wall, probably on furring strips. Remove anything that's lose and patch the holes with easy-sand or durabond (chemically setting). If it's bad enough the plaster might need to all come off and then drywall it, unless you can raise someone from the dead who can actually do plaster.

... to prevent future debris from accumulating?

That's the hard part about money pits. Intentionally removing any other lose plaster will give you more time until you'll need to do it again. But that's a band-aid on a foundation issue: water ingress.

But you patching the walls every decade is a lot cheaper than having drain tile installed around the outside perimeter of your house, and if you have a relatively dry basement with no flooding or seepage issues; not really worth it. Just make sure the grade is away from the house, and keep your gutters clean.

The other, somewhat excessive, option is to tear it all off and parge coat the foundation with the appropriate mortar. If the seepage problem is minimal, that should last the rest of your life. Again, you'd need someone who knows how to trowel, or it will look like a parge coat.

A picture might help, but I wouldn't be able to feel how lose all the plaster is. Use your best judgment. If large parts of the wall flex in the slightest, it should probably all come down. But it's a basement, maybe you don't really care; then patch and paint it with whatever (chemically sets). But when parts start falling off while you drag a paint roller over it, you know what you should have done.

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